Monthly Archives: January 2009

  • Introducing new players to DnD 4E

    I just responded to a post on ENWorld, in quick a user asked:

    Great ideas you did (or wished you had done) for your first game?

    Here is my reply (posted in the thread @ ENWorld also):

    What do your players enjoy?

    If they enjoy combat, give them a nice interactive battle. Use some interesting terrain, something that changes can be fun (a sinking ship comes to mind). Toss in some minions so they can get get some one-shot kills in. Make it a fun tactical encounter. DO NOT USE KOBOLDS. Not for your first combat at least. Their shiftiness will frustrate your melee fighters, and their high reflex will frustrate your ranged casters.

    If they enjoy a deeper role-play encounter more, try an interesting skill challenge. Make sure its not just a “clear rocks with Althetics check for 10 hours”. A chase scene through the dark allies of a city with the guard in close pursuit. (Or it could be a band of thieves, a cabal of dark necromancers they stumbled upon, whatever.) Let your players describe what thye are doing in detail, asking for skill checks as appropriate. Try to get through the skill challenge without ever letting them know it is one, until the end when you say “you just defeated your first skill challenge” or “the guards have you surrounded, there is no where to escape to… you just failed your first skill challenge.” Success means they get away. Failure could lead to a combat, or them getting captured and taken to the Captain of the Guard.

    Or combine both into one session.

    Your PCes are making a journey on a ship, but when they reach their destination they find the port under attack by pirates or a enemy state. Another ship engages them on the sea, damaging their ship and sending over a raiding party. The PCes must ward off the attacks as their ship is sinking. (Every turn one square of the ship sinks under the water. And the edge of the water there are 2 squares of difficult terrain, beyond that its too deep to stand and athletics checks are required.) If the PCes win the combat, they must sail for the port which is under pirate attack because their ship is too damaged to make it anywhere else. (The pirates ship should be damaged and sink during the combat.) As the ship lands at he dock (enter Pirated of theCaribean scene of Jack Sparrow stepping onto the dock just as the ship finally sinks under the water), other pirates/attacks see them and the chase is on. They may have to fight small bands of pirates along the way of the skill challenge (make a failure mean they get caught by a few minions, or a some minions and a couple stronger pirates). Eventually they either get captured by the pirates, or they escape they city. End the session there =)

    How would you introduce new players to Forth Edition?  How about new converts from older editions?